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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
a lot of aftermarket headunits are coming equipped with USB ports. i was wondering if anyone here has tried using an external usb hard drive to store their music on. i'm tempted to go out and buy an external 1.8" 60gb hard drive to see if it works. i think the biggest hurdle is powering the hard drive. so has anyone tried it?
 

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I've been looking into the Kenwood eXcelon DNX8120 and it, too, has a USB port. I researched some external hard drives and I found that most are USB powered (i.e. don't need external power, the USB cord actually powers the device).
So, I talked to a buddy of mine whom is an installer at a Best Buy and he told me that it should work. Then about a week later he told me that the device couldn't exceed a certain size. Which size, I can't remember. :(
Best bet would be to stop by a local dealer and ask them. Or if all else fails, call up Crutchfield! Tell them that you're extremely interested in a headunit but you want to use an external hard drive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
i read on a forum that the usb ports on the headunits only provide up to 500mA of power and that the 1.8" hard drives were the only ones small enough that could be powered. the posts were from like 2004-2005 or something tho, so times may have changed.
 

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One thing to keep in mind is what format your music is stored as. I had a JVC head unit with a usb input (before it was stolen) and it would only read MP3 format. I had all of my audio files stored on Itunes as AAC. so the usb function was pretty much worthless unless I converted all of my music.
 

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The USB Specification is that the port can only provide 500mA so any single cable portable USB should work. However you need to verify that the head unit you but will supply 500mA since some USB ports on PC's and other devices do not.

No head unit will be able to play DRM protected music unless it is designed to read your license files from the USB drive as well. So any format would have to be non-DRM. Thus iTunes ACC and Napster (and others) WMA won't work. Best to just use an iPod or get your music from Amazon as mp3s.
 

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I just talked to my stereo guy who is installing my brand new system now. He guarantees that DNX8120 WILL work and control iPod and play all format of songs and movies that store in iPod or i pay nothing. That is pretty strong guaranty! Hope this help.
 
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